Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Things were going swimmingly; I'd hammered out twenty reviews of things last night, I'd been to Leeds Castle and been freaked out by a parrot that kept shouting "parrot!" as we walked past its cage, and I'd come home to find my review count for the year was up to 200. A milestone of meaninglessness, but a milestone nonetheless.

Then I got cocky. I pointed out the problem with a review of Starbucks. I have a deep revulsion for anyone who tries to pad out their review count by reviewing Starbucks willy-nilly. Since the coffee is exactly the same in every one you ever go to, you're hardly adding to the corpus of useful advice for travellers if you tell people for the nth time that Starbucks serve coffee in 4 different sizes and that you can get a blueberry muffin with your latte.

I didn't complain about that. I just added feedback to show that somebody had reviewed the Starbucks in Sai Kung, on the page for the Starbucks in the New World Tower in Hong Kong. As these are thirty miles apart, I figured it might add clarity to the world to distinguish the two of them. After all, a traveller might go to the Starbucks in the New World Tower and expect to get a latte and a blueberry muffin, and - oh, hang on, that's what they'd get.

But if you're going to be pedantic, you need to be pedantic, so I added my feedback that one of the reviews was for the wrong restaurant.

And shortly, my published review count went from 200 to 199. Was this karmic retribution? A malfunction? Enemy action? The trouble with writing about 160 reviews in less than a month is you begin to lose track of what you've reviewed, so I can't tell which review has vanished. And since I haven't been told there's a problem with any of my reviews, I don't know if it's because I've said something wrong, or if there's been some sort of subterfuge. I suppose I'll have to go back to keeping my separate log of everything I've spouted off about, to see if I can tell what's vanished... Which becomes something of a drudge, when you're looking at hundreds of things every month and writing about them.


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